Throughout the New Testament faith, hope and love are often found together. Of course I Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” is perhaps the most often cited passage concerning these three (and concludes the greatest of these is love.) But I’m always intrigued that Paul continues to link them together in the greetings of many of his epistles.
Notice 1 Thessalonians 1:3 in particular where Paul talks about a work of faith, a labor of love and an endurance of hope. In reflecting on this verse and seeking to make application to the ministry of Momentum Europe, I see first that in this case “work” might relate to our calling….. and that calling is rooted in faith.
To be effective in our work, or our calling, Momentum Europe’s DIRECTION must be rooted in faith. This means we will continue to aim at the big picture of helping to ignite and resource spiritual awakening in Europe. For that idea to be more than just a slogan requires that we seek the Lord deeply and listen diligently to God’s direction, then pursue it obediently, knowing that it’s often costly.
If work relates to our direction, then I believe Paul’s remembrance of the Thessalonians “labor of love” speaks to their APPROACH. While faith points our direction, love reminds us to take people with us, and to do it in love.
Momentum Europe has the fantastic opportunity to demonstrate love for people on many different fronts. First, among our partners, friends and associates we have the opportunity to genuinely care for them – to pray, to encourage, and to invite into great things God has provided for us to do together. Secondly is the staff we serve in Europe and the people they are seeking to reach with the love of Christ. What a joy to show up in Europe with no big agenda other than to love those that we are called to minister to. As we love others in the power of the Holy Spirit, God will take care of the results.
Finally, Paul writes about an endurance of hope. In that phrase I see the IMPACT of Momentum Europe. The very nature of our faith calling and our commitment to a labor of love in which God produces the results, means that our impact won’t easily be measured in the short term. Therefore, like the Thessalonians we want to be noted for the hope we have in Christ, a hope that allows us to endure the short-term challenges as we wait the impact of the long-term. And surely there will be impact, if we don’t lose hope.
Do you see it the way I do? Do you see your work as a faith calling? Is the direction for your work rooted in faith?
Do you see it the way I do? Is your approach to your day in and day out labor all about loving people and trusting God’s Spirit to work in and through you each day, all day?
Finally, do you see it the way I do? Does your hope for impact allow you to endure in the midst of the challenges that accompany anything God truly asks us to do?
It’s just one verse. I Thessalonians 1:3. If you think about it, how do you see it?